Yahoo! Boo Boo? Attacking the Working Mom?

I’m late to the party on this one, but I really wanted to throw in my two-cents re: the end of Yahoo! employees’ ability to telecommute.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Photo Credit | Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Photo Credit | Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

The long and short of it is that Yahoo!’s newest CEO, also a brand new mom who built a nursery in her office, put a universal ban on the work from home option. Most critics cry “NO FAIR!” on the privilege of having her child in the office, but I’m assuming that nursery comes stocked with a team of nannies. Also, this is Corporate America where there is still very much a hierarchy that comes with perks. Note: Yahoo does provide employee childcare options.

It’s hard to find a “just the facts, ma’am” article on this change, since by now everyone’s thrown their opinion into the mix, or else I’d provide one. There has been speculation of rampant abuse of the telecommuting option by Yahoo! employees and Mayer seems to have recognized it and acted accordingly.

Keep in mind that Yahoo! is currently a “sinking ship” and may be trying to model mega-giant Apple’s requirement that everyone be under one roof (Google also strongly encourages it).

Being someone who now  works primarily from the comfort of my couch (and bedecked in my pajam-jams) I will be the first person to advocate for working outside of the office.

In this instance, though, I think it’s a good idea for Yahoo! to try every avenue they can to get their company off of life support.

In all of this, Mayer has been accused by many of attacking the working mother (or parent) by taking away their option to work while simultaneously caring for their young children.

I think that’s bunk. And this journalist also happens to agree with me (check out this article–she takes the words right out of my mouth). Here is its crux:

“Marissa Mayer is a CEO first and a woman second. Indeed, she is a role model for many precisely because she made it to the top job. And as a CEO, her first job is to save her company. If she fails in that, the employees she is insisting come in to the office will have no jobs to come in to.”

I only want to address the part where people are accusing her of assaulting the sensibilities of family-focused employees:

Being a former live-in, full-time nanny (as I’ve mentioned multiple times, previously) has me convinced that there is absolutely no way one can effectively work an office job from home while wrangling rug-rats younger than school-aged. I can not imagine having to juggle the two. Well, I can imagine it, but it ain’t pretty. Here goes:

Wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy…wait, no, just kidding. Wake up in the morning feeling like crap because your 1.5 year old is teething and refuses to sleep in more than 3 hour spurts. Instead of getting dressed and joyfully dropping little Johnny off at daycare, you’re bracing yourself for a day from Hades as your partner makes a B line for the front door. You feed Johnny and his 3 year old sister Katie, do full diaper changes and bottom wiping, and make sure sippy cups are filled. By now it’s 8am: time to get to work.

8:01: Johnny has a blow-out-diaper that’s quickly inching up his back. Take a moment (at least 15 minutes) to clean him up.

8:21: While you weren’t paying attention to Katie, she’s gone and played a solo game of tic-tac-toe all over your office memos and the client contract you were supposed to fax…yesterday. Redirect her attention, re-print all of the documents, break up a fight over who gets to play with the blocks first.

9:00 am: Put Johnny down for his A.M. nap and try to convince an ultra-clingy Katie to look at some picture books by herself.

9:10am: You’re getting nowhere with this negotiation so you promise to read just one book to her that quickly turns into 8.

9:40 am: Plant Katie in front of the T.V. because, darn it, you need to do some work! But not before you throw in a load of laundry and clean up the mess you left in the kitchen from breakfast. Might as well prepare lunch while both kids are occupied.

10:15 am: Sit down at your computer and wonder where the morning has gone. Send the belated fax, read your newest barrage of emails, check in with your manager and start your day.

10:20 am: Except, you don’t because Johnny is getting to that age where he’s giving up his morning nap and he wakes up earlier than expected screaming to be rescued from his crib.

10:40 am: Johnny is isolated in his playpen and it’s time for round three of ‘Dora the Explorer’ for Katie. “Would her time have been better spent in morning preschool?” you begin to wonder.

11:00 am: You’ve just signed-on to an ‘all important’ conference call when Johnny’s molars decide to rear their ugly enamel. Screams to rival a banshee shatter your eardrums (as well as everyone else’s on the phone call) and you shamefully bow out.

11:30 am: The teething gel kicks in and Johnny is finally quiet. Back to work? Nope–it’s lunch time. And there goes your productive morning–out of the fashionably draped bay window of your home office.

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